During what appeared to be a normal day in the office, Willow and I were surprised with tickets for the British Airways i360! With less than 24 hours until the event, we charged our Go Pros and our camera.
We were very happy when we woke up to a sunny day, as we knew the views were going to be magnificent. The fact that our office is in central Brighton meant that we could leave at 11.15 to make our 11.30am slot. I have admired the incredibly tall piece of architecture while driving through Brighton on many occasions, so I was excited to finally get to experience it first-hand. After going through security, we were guided to a green screen, where a photographer was waiting to take our picture! She asked us to wave, smile and look to the left in three different shots. After this, we walked out onto an open plan balcony, from which we could see the whole of Brighton Seafront. A quirky deck chair with ‘British Airways i360’ on it made for the perfect picture background. After a couple of snaps, it was time to board. A lady in a very smart uniform opened the doors, and opera played as we were guided into the futuristic pod.
There was a long bar inside with lots of champagne, as well as seating. As we were standing at the edge looking out to sea, there was an announcement welcoming us to this unique experience. Then off we went! We were slowly elevated up towards the sky, and reached a magnificent 450ft above the ground. The speakers pointed out sights such as Beachy Head and the South Downs, but the main view catching my eye was the sun glistening on the sea. It was so beautiful, and Willow and I had our photo taken as we looked out.
After being stationary long enough to take pictures and walk 360 degrees around the pod, we began to descend. The pod is so smooth that you hardly feel yourself moving. It is incredibly calming, and I could see it being a lovely moment to share with family, or a romantic setting for couples. We reached the balcony where it all began, and continued to lower underneath this. Opera played as the door opened, and we walked out into a delightful gift shop.
From tea towels to pictures, there were many mementos we could buy to remember our experience with British Airways i360. In the corner, there was a gentleman who had everyone’s photos from when we arrived. They were in a hard back book, with different scenes behind us. Suddenly, us being told to wave made sense! For twenty pounds, you get the hard-back book, as well as a keyring and magnet kit, with mini photos that you can cut out and slot in.
We carried on walking and there was a small museum with lots of canvasses of the i360 being built, each with its own facts about the creation. For those who wanted to sit down and learn about this unique structure, there was a T.V. and viewing area with a short film.
The i360 is a unique and wonderful experience, and one I won’t forget.